Our thought-provoking comics-related question of the week is:
Discussion after the jump.
- Classmates: I was thinking Xavier's School, X-Men style school here, not your more typical jocks-beating-up-geeks junior high setup. If the former, not so bad. If the latter ... no, since I was one of the geeky ones. I don't want to think of some of those guys having both super-powers AND the responsibility for watching my back.
- Family: Models for this would include the Fantastic Four and the more recent Noble Family series. To a large extent, this would depend on the family members in question. If you have a jerky little brother, imagine him with the power to read your mind. Or blast you with fireballs. Yeah, not a pretty picture, is it? Plus families can be wearing even when you all love each other, throw having to work together all day running around in spandex and it can be a little daunting.
- Government-sponsored: This has the advantage of some job-security, a steady paycheck, maybe retirement benefits, and probably some neat gadgets to play with. On the downside, you have no privacy, you're probably going to be asked to die for some bureaucratic oversight, and you have very little power over your day to day career.
- Greek gods: To some degree this depends on which God you get to be. And they were all kind of jerks most of the time.
- Law enforcement: This has a lot of the upside of Government-sponsored, without some of the more egregious drawbacks. There's definitely a camaraderie to being in a "-force" of like-minded people, and you have clearly defined enemies -- law-breakers -- versus just whoever the government decides they're pissed off at that day.
- Paramilitary: Sort of a mix between working for the government and being in law enforcement. Although, technically law-enforcement IS the government, but I was thinking more of a Police Department vs. the Pentagon vs. a mercenary outfit. Paramilitary to me seems like a lot of morally gray areas, and a lot of rules, without much backup. On the other hand, you'd be free to do the bidding of your own conscience more than you would if you were a government agent.
- Patriots: I was thinking here of your Captain America "band of brothers" type of thing, I suppose. Meh.
- Snakes: Because snakes are cool, and get to go on planes.
Overall, I'd probably go with Family. I actually like my family, they're fun and moral and relatively easy to get along with. There's a trust factor there I wouldn't have with more casual acquaintances too, but I can see how someone from a less pleasant familial situation would avoid this like the plague.
Which would you choose, and why?
I would choose Greek gods. Not only would that give me, almost necessarily, some pretty phenomenal power, but I’d have little to no real responsibility. I’d be free to turn into whatever animal I want to seduce all the women in the land (who were startlingly prone to zoophilia in the olden days, you know). Yeah, most of my neighbours would be jerks or arrogant pricks, but I wouldn’t really have to work with them on anything. I’d largely be left to my own devices, and let me assure you, my devices are pretty cool.
Greek gods? Why not Norse Gods? If that were an option, I’d pick that. The Norse gods, for the most part, seemed like they were nicer (at least to their allies) than the Greek gods. Even Ragnarok wouldn’t be that bad. As I am in real life, with my frail mortal form, I’m gonna die anyway. The only difference is that, as a Norse god, I’ll die fighting in an epic final battle of good vs. evil, and not failing to remember my own family members’ names on a deathbed.
Given the options, though, I’d go with the school. And I’m actually thinking the *average* school, too. I mean, why would the jocks necessarily be the ones with powers, and not the geeks? (Just for the record, nowadays we’re dealing with the “gangstas” who harass you to no end, then hide behind the irresponsible school administration so you can’t do a thing about it)
Which of these would the Authority be? Because that’s my kind of team.
I’d pick Greek gods. Sure they’re irresponsible, immortal, superpowered jerks, but that’s a bad thing only, if you didn’t get to be one.
With family and classmates you’d get to work with familiar people, but that isn’t always a good thing. Personal ties to coworkers can be hard to deal with in a violent situation.
Government, police and paramilitary all have the downside of answering to bureaucrats and politicians or in the case of mercenaries to banksters and greedy businessmen. None of these are the kind of employers I’d trust with the kind power to command as comes with a superteam.
Patriots have the upside of working only for their own conscience, so there’s little danger of being manipulated by shady officials. Unfortunately I’d have to spend my days with single-minded fanatics and borderline fascists and wear some ridiculous clown suit themed around the local national flag – always an awful idea for a super to wear.
That just leaves snakes. Any person, who has read the Evil overlord-list knows that being a snake is not good:
“34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.”
I’d go with family-themed. I also like my family, despite their (and my own) imperfections. Family teams have the advantage of almost always working well together, too. (either that or not working well at all) heh
You didn’t say which Government…….
I dunno, but definitely not my class. I’d end up killing every one of them.
Law enforcement – but only if it envolves detective work. Solving crimes is cool, and having a city to protect narrows down the range of problems you could have. And make cops a lot cooler.
“Drop your weapon! You are surrounded by aaarmed BASTARDS!!!”
-Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt, Life on Mars TV show
Well stop and think of it. Paramilitary is actually an orginization that is similar to professional military forces but is not offically deemed a military. So many loan heroes and hero groups are already fitting that bill, even when they may be classmates, family, etc. I mean let’s face it, if there’s some supervillian it seems that the first inclination is to go to the military to stop them, then if their either too powerful that the military admits it won’t stand a chance or the military gets its ***** handed to it going up against them the only remaining choice in stopping them is to send in the superheroes to act as a military far more powerful than the military.
So really the ultimate choice here is paramilitary since ultimately that’s what so many heroes are going to be whether they realize it or not.
I went with Family, too!
Yeah, there’s some possible drawbacks…
But you can’t choose your family, whether they have Superpowers, or not!
And, of course, you can’t be fired from your Family!
Greek Gods are pretty much a subset of ‘family’, but I disagree with the reasons many people had for choosing them…
Just because you ACT as if you have no responsibilities, doesn’t mean you don’t HAVE them!
Abandoning your responsibilities merely turns you from a Hero to a Villain…
Being irresponsible doesn’t mean the same as not fullfilling ones responsibilities. That’s confusing terms. Being irresponsible is about “how” things are done, not “what” is being done or not. An irresponsible person can totally fullfill his responsibilities, he just does it in an irresponsible manner. That’s precisely what greek gods do. Zeus is king of gods and that’s what he does – he never runs away from responsibility. He just handles the job sloppily.
Snakes. Because I want a plane, damn it.